Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, the Secretary General of the MUD, got mired in a public relations disaster today.
It all started this morning. During a hearing in the United States Senate, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson said, under oath, that “members of the MUD” had explicitly asked her to not impose sanctions on representatives of the Venezuelan government because, they allege, it could harm the dialogue process. (see the first five minutes of the above video)
This prompted a hasty retort from Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, the MUD’s Secretary General. In his response, he said that the MUD has advocated against an embargo on Venezuela – something that precisely no one but him is talking about (straw man alert!).
Let’s be clear: it was never in the cards to embargo Venezuela. Sanctions against the Venezuelan economy or its people were not in question. The US is not ready to go that far, and everyone knows that – Senator Rubio himself has made this patently clear in the first three minutes of the video. By bringing that up as an excuse, Mr. Aveledo is either being extremely incompetent, or desperately launching a straw man to cover up for someone.
Aveledo also said that neither the MUD nor its spokespeople (whoever those may be) have asked foreign governments “to exonerate particular people from assuming the responsibility for their acts,” in a somewhat obscure allusion to possible sanctions against a list of high-ranking chavistas. Yes, his denial was in effect an affirmation that none of the MUD spokespeople (again, who exactly are these people?) have asked the US government to exonerate chavistas from bearing their responsibilities. I am literally chuckling while I write this piece of spin-put-together-con-tirro.
Aveledo’s strangely-worded rebuttal to Jacobson (they’ve met before) leaves more questions than answers. For example, he could have reiterated the MUD’s support for sanctions against individual chavistas … but he didn’t. He could have said that Jacobson was lying … but he didn’t, because he can’t know. Or is it because he knows she is not lying? What does Aveledo know, anyway?
Aveledo owes Venezuelans a clearer answer, as do other MUD representatives we are hearing as being suspects in having talked to Jacobson about this, people who shall remain nameless for now.
We don’t like to shoot from the hip at Caracas Chronicles. We don’t know for sure who said what to whom, so we are simply asking these folks to clear the air. We believe public servants should be held accountable. We haven’t come this far to simply not demand from our own politicians the level of openness we demand from chavistas.
Look, folks, let’s not beat around the bush: the opposition is deeply divided right now, and it’s not clear their differences can ever be patched. Major players inside the MUD have simply stopped talking to each other, and we shouldn’t hide that fact any longer. It is what it is, and we need to make the best of it.
But if we’re going to pretend to have unity, we need more openness from those claiming to represent us.